Since the time that Cortez conquered Mexico, that country has been in a state of flux -- economically and psychologically. In order to understand Mexico today it is necessary to know her roots. This is the approach that the author uses to describe the current trends in art, architecture, industry, education, agriculture, politics and temperament. He claims that Mexico is a fusion of Hispanic and native Indian culture, the former contributing civilized elements, the latter clinging to pagan and emotional behavior. The mestizo, a mixture of Spanish and Indian blood, is by far the predominant race and manifests the two, often incompatible, cultures. Here lies the dichotomy and the paradox of Mexico whose geographical proximity to the U.S. would classify it as a ""Western"" country, but whose culture, remote as the Orient, resists such classification. With this theals in mind, Mr. Crow reports conversations with priests, children, educators. He describes the festivals, religion, cuisine and dress. He illustrates the differences between different cities like Tepic and Mexico City and compares Mexico to the United States. This is not a guide book as much as it is a short ethnographical history for the layman.